• Why the new poverty numbers should be a wake-up call

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    By Rhonda Tsoi-A-Fatt

    I’m tired of talking about poverty. I’m tired of talking about how black folks fare worse on every measure of well being. I’m tired of talking about how many are unemployed, how many don’t go to college, how many are failing in school and how many children live in single-parent homes.

    It seems every week another entity releases yet another report that quantifies the plight of black America. Today, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual poverty data. Not surprisingly, given the nation’s economic condition and the lack of jobs, the report reveals poverty has increased. Overall, the poverty rate rose to 15.1 percent. Among blacks, 27.4 percent now live in poverty. Median household income fell by 2.3 percent to $49,445. For blacks, the drop was even more precipitous, falling from $33,122, to $32,068, a 3.2 percent decrease. This means that more families are trying to make ends meet with fewer and fewer resources.

    The most difficult statistics for me to swallow are about young black Americans, the future of our community. According to the Census, there are 2.5 million black homes where the householder is under the age of 30, 63 percent of which (1.56 million) are heads of young black families.

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